Addition word problems are a great way to practice solving equations using real world examples. Use these addition to 20 word problem cards as a math center, brain break or small group activity. Kinders and Grade 1 kids will love problem solving!
P.S. Be sure to grab our addition write and wipe cards too!
Why Word Problems?
The most common reason for doing word problems is to solve common, everyday occurrences such as ‘how much money do I need this week if I have to buy a bus ticket each day?’
But the next reason is to encourage children to think logically and to use abstract thinking.
The process of reading the question, trying to understand it, re-clarifying and finally calculating an answer requires children to stop and think more carefully about the problem they are solving. It has the added benefit of giving children more practice in reading and comprehension.
This, of course, can be problematic for speakers of other languages, and we need to be sensitive to how hard these children have to work just to understand the question, let alone solve it.
One aspect to consider when using word problems is to have a little variety in how the questions need to be solved. If all the questions are solved the same way, for example, just by adding the two numbers in each question, children will stop reading the question and just immediately add the two numbers together. This has little value if we’re hoping to encourage our children to use logic and higher level thinking for problem solving!
To prep the activity, I printed off a colored version of the word problem cards (below) onto plain cardstock and printed a second black and white version on brightly colored paper. I laminated the sheets and cut the pieces apart into individual cards.
To keep each set together, I punched holes in the top left hand corner of each card and attached them to a ring.
To make the problem self-check, I simply added the answer in small writing on the back of each card with a fine point Sharpie.
The children each chose one problem to work on first. Confident readers were able to work independently while others paired up to help each other, or listened as an adult read the question out loud.
Students then went through their question again in order to make sure they understood what the question was asking them. Some problems were easy for the children to solve, while others required a bit of thinking and brainstorming to be confident that they knew what to do.
Using a dry erase marker, they drew small circles in the ten frame squares in order to solve the problem, taking one part of the question at a time.
After being sure they had added all parts of the question to the ten frame, they found the total. They flipped the card over to check their answer and then used a tissue to erase their marks from the ten frames before choosing another question.
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